Leeds were crowned Women’s Challenge Cup winners after beating rivals Castleford 16-10 in Bolton.
Castleford took the lead through Rhiannon Marshall before Fran Goldthorpe scored for Leeds.
Caitlin Beevers shown great pace to extend Leeds’ advantage on the half hour mark before the score was tied at 10-10 at half-time due to Tamzin Renouf going over for Castleford.
Australian Courtney Hill scored a brilliant breakaway try on the hour which proved to be the game breaker. She converted her own try and it was a splendid woman of the match performance from her. The Rhinos ran-out 16-10 winners against the Tigresses.
Three talking points
Women’s rugby league on the rise
It was the inaugural season of the Women’s Super League last year and the launch of the competition really gave the women’s game the lift it needed.
Young boys and girls are now looking up to these players as role models. Youngsters are growing up wanting to be the next Georgia Roche and Danika Priim and it’s great to see.
More and more spectators are paying attention to the women’s game now and there were a good number of people watching the final at Bolton. Women’s rugby league is certainly growing.
Beevers is a class act
Leeds full-back Caitlin Beevers has a wow of a game. She is great to watch every single time she has the ball in her hands.
Each time the Rhinos had a 20-metre restart, she carted the ball in and made at least another 10 yards with her explosive carries.
Beevers – who is also a qualified RFL referee – is one of England’s brightest prospects in the women’s game. She posses electric pace and is the type of player you pay money to see.
Hollie Dodd made her debut for the Tigresses after only becoming eligible the day before the game when she turned 16 years of age.
She might have felt nervous before the game and the occasion probably made it that bit more nail-biting for herself but she did very well in her bow.
Dodd came up with a couple of strong carries for his team out of yardage and has plenty of pace. Castleford have got a good player on their hands right there.
Line-ups & ratings
Castleford: Stanley (8); Dodd (7), Owen (6), Grace (6), Gentles (8); Roche (8), Garner (6); Field (6), Peach (7), Lumley (7), Renouf (7), Hoyle (6), Marshall (7). Subs: Watts (6), Higo (7), Reynolds (6), Cudjoe (6).
Tries: Marshall, Renouf Goals: Stanley 1/2
Leeds: Beevers (8); Nuttall (7), Robinson (7), Kerrigan (7), Goldthorp (7); Butcher (8), Hill (9); Anderson (7), Gaines (8), Johnson (7), Staveley (7), Booth (8), Lacey (7). Subs: Priim (8), Bennett (7), Frain (7), Oldroyd (7).
Tries: Goldthorp, Beevers, Hill Goals: Hill 2/3
Admittedly, I don’t attend a lot of women’s games but I try to watch the games when they are streamed on the Our League app when I am not at a Super League or Championship game.
But I thoroughly enjoyed the final. It’s great to see the women’s game being put on the big stage alongside the men’s and I hope it is here to stay. It would be good to have the Women’s Super League Grand Final played as a curtain-raiser to the men’s at Old Trafford in the near future.
As for the players, Beevers is a special talent for Leeds while it’s easy to tell why Roche won the first Woman of Steel award last year. She’s a class above at times.